May 152010

“With breasts that big, there’s no way she’ll be able to nurse,” – Breast Pump Consultant to  a mom with a J cup breast size.

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 May 15, 2010  breastfeeding, Fatness  Add comments

  44 Responses to “"With Breasts That Big, There's No Way She'll Be Able To Nurse."”

  1. This makes me so mad! The LCs at the hospital have told me EVERY TIME I had a baby that I *can’t* nurse because my breasts are TOO BIG and one went so far as to say I’m TOO FAT to nurse. Well guess what? I ignored them and did it anyway. I’ve nursed each child 2+ yrs- and my last one was only 5lbs @ birth and he is a fine nurser!!!

    • I’ve gotten that comment before and did breastfeeding anyway as well! I had to hold my breasts off their noses, that was about it.

  2. I’ve heard similar statements (and the opposite) before, but it still makes me :headdesk: every time. I know people who have nursed with J cups. I’ve been nursing with tiny A cups for a long time. It’s not the size that counts, it’s how you use them!

  3. My H’s, my 6 mo old, my 3 year old and I reserve the right to disagree… the only thing my breasts and I have a problem with is pump cone size, they are not deep enough that I don’t loose suction every time I wiggle.

  4. Please tell me this was really a quote from some dusty, moldy breastfeeding manual from 1952. Doesn’t this woman know her business? Obviously not. Very sad! Think of the women who never even attempt it, based on her terrible advice! :?

  5. Let me guess: attempting to sell her an expensive breast pump? :-)

    • That was my first impression.

    • I was after an Avent system because I know from experience, I make too much milk and wanted to keep my breasts empty so I didn’t get yet another case of mastitis. It didn’t work and we had to rent an electronic one for two weeks to get past the initial surge. I would soak from my nipples to my knees.
      I snarked with extra snark sauce. This was not going to be my first child and boy did I give them hell for making stupid assumptions.

      • LOL! I did the same when a nurse came into my room, saw the baby nursing again, and snapped at me “You’re going to get sore nipples that way!”

        I snapped back, “I am not!”

        She left. Seriously, I’d been breastfeeding for 7 of the past 8 years at that point. Nothing was going to make me sore at that point.

        • LOL I had a similar experience in the hospital the last time – they made a note of my sore, cracked nipples and I think I said, “Yes, I know – could I have some lanolin, please?” Whatever – when you haven’t nursed in over a year, your boobs will be sore, sure! Like I don’t know that. :P

      • Good for you! As an I cup breastfeeding mama, I can agree that that’s freaking ridiculous. However, I don’t respond to pumps and I’ve tried a few. I had to use my toddler for the engorgement ;) Worked like a charm XD

  6. No one ever says, “Wow, with a penis that big he’ll never get a woman pregnant.”

    Apparently OUR appendages are only useful if they fit a very narrow range.

    • Coffee spewed!

      This quote is horrible because it can definitely be done.

    • Oh my. That is hysterical!

    • Laughed out loud, honestly!
      Ok, so lemme get this straight. The bigger the better by them, the smaller the better by us, unless it’s breasts, then bigger is better, unless it’s for breastfeeding – eew – then smaller is better……
      How ’bout just telling us how perfectly functional all our parts are, just like you’d want us to tell you how functional your parts are.
      Because they all usually are, if given a fair chance.
      Sorry I turned this into a male/female thing, but so many times that’s what it seems to be….
      K, I’m done now.

  7. Breast size has nothing whatsoever to do with breastfeeding. The size of the breast does not impact the milk making tissue. My own breasts are tiny and plenty adequate enough for my babies’ needs. From the amount of milk that I produce intially I could probably feed triplets for a very long time.

    • Totally agree! My tiny breasts were able to nourish twins for 16 months, and with my crazy oversupply, I could probably have added a third baby.

      You can’t judge a book by its cover!

    • Ditto. I only just barely make a B-cup when I’m not nursing, but I produced a TON of milk for the first couple of months after both of my sons were born, especially the last one. I could pump up to 19 ounces after a feeding. At 3 months post-partum, I was full-time nursing my own child, plus part-time wet-nursing for 3 other babes.

      • Wow, I have a huge supply in the beginning, too, and would love to share it! How did you come to wet-nurse other children?

        • Well, I pumped out often to reduce the pain of engorgement. By the time my bub was 3 months old, I had a huge supply stored up that he wasn’t touching, and was going to go to waste, and I was still adding to it every day. I was going to donate it to Texas Children’s or La Leche League, but put it off for too long, and found myself needing to use the milk or toss it (it was coming too close to an expiration date). I had two friends, one with 4-month-old twins, and one with a 1-month-old singleton, both of whom had been told by their doctors that their milk quality was too low in calories and they needed to start supplementing with formula. I just didn’t see the point in giving them formula when I had plenty of good quality, high-calorie milk stored up in my freezer. So, I was providing about half the milk required for all three babies, and still pumping out a good amount to replace it.

        • You can also try this website:

          I’ve done mom-to-mom milk donation a few times.

    • Completely agree! I am barely a B cup when not nursing and these tiny ta-ta’s produced almost 4 gallons of SPARE milk that I froze so I could quit pumping at work. I quit pumping at work at 8 months and almost 10 months (at 18 months) I am finally running out of milk. Oh, and that is after donating a gallon and a half to the International Breast Milk Project.

      I think I must come from a long line of wet nurses.

  8. I suppose someone should tell my H cup nursing 7 month old that she is doing the impossible at this very minute.

  9. nak right now with my HH’s. I’ve also been told that I shouldn’t let the baby use me as a pacifier, i called a friend that is an ibclc at that hospital so she could get her written up. That was dd#2. With my son I was told he was too big to breastfeed since he was 10lbs and 14 oz. I also had that nurse written up and I went back to show him off at 2 weeks old after he gained 15 ounces in a week.

    • I don’t understand the logic in that.. too big to breastfeed as a baby?? When someone says “too big to breastfeed” it puts in mind like a 7 year old, not an infant. That nurse obviously had no clue.

  10. My hubby said, “If that were true, big-breast genes would have gone extinct back before they invented formula!”
    Then he added, “Sounds like (insert formula company) is padding some pockets here or something.”
    To which I’d like to add, yeah, seriously! If particularly small or large breasts couldn’t nourish babies then how do we still have so many diverse cup sizes?! Wouldn’t the only babies who survived pre-formula be the ones with C-cup genes? Then how come we don’t ALL have C-cups?! Who are these supposed-lactation-expert people working for if they jump on every little excuse to tell a mom she “can’t” breastfeed?!

    • Good point. And the same could be said for differently shaped nipples as well…I’ll have to keep this in mind when encouraging discouraged friends in the future. Thanks! :)

  11. I am amazed at how many comments like this are made, not just by people in the healthcare field but acquaintances, strangers, family … I’ve heard the weirdest/stupidest/funniest things that I just tune it out now (well, I try).

    I have large breasts and had a small baby, the football hold helps a lot. I had a nurse keep trying to correct me and make me hold the baby “right”, told that if I kept letting him eat whenever he wanted to he would get exhausted and if I would just give him formula he could sleep, if I didn’t stop ‘bothering him’ he was going to get sick! I also got told I was going to give him brain damage if I didn’t give him formula, because breastfeeding ‘makes babies jaundiced’. The nurse even brought a 6-pack of formula and left it in the room after being told no and said ‘just in case’ my husband wanted to feed the baby.

    Now my son is 8 months old, he still nurses and eats on demand, he is healthy, active, happy and inquisitive. One of his favorite things to do is pet the top of my boob while he nurses to sleep or when he’s upset. So I guess he has no problem with them, traumatisingly huge though they are ;)

  12. >sigh< Reading this reminds me of the first time I tried to nurse my son. I am a 48F and I have pendulous breasts so they aren't very "perky". My nurse (who looked like she had just graduated nursing school) commented that I had a "large volume of breast tissue" and would have problems with him latching on. She then proceeded to manhandle me, move my breast into a more upright position and then pushed my sons face into my nipple. Of course he couldn't latch on because when she let go of my breast it fell on his face. Nightmare! I was so embarrassed and wanted to crawl under the covers! Later that night an older more seasoned nurse worked with me so I could find a comfortable nursing position that worked for me and my son. I nursed for a year and would have kept going but my little one had better things to do and see!

  13. Oh god I’m terrified. I was a 34J BEFORE I got pregnant, now my bras are too small and I’m only in the 19th week. I am so afraid I won’t be able to breastfeed. And when I google this issue I get lots of sites that are like “I have huge breasts… I’m a DD and I was able to breastfeed”. If I were a DD I wouldn’t be worried either!!!

    • Nicole, you will be fine. What you will need to do is to get help with positioning from someone who actually knows what they’re doing. Maybe an IBCLC, or a LLL leader. You’ll probably have to hold your breast with one hand and the baby with the other. Pillows will help. But–you can do this!

      • LOTS of pillows! And a sling for when you are out and need both hands. I would say that nursing with large breasts is more of a challenge but if you follow your instincts and your baby you will be fine. I was told over and over that my latch wasn’t good enough but we just kept doing what we were doing. 5 years and 3 babies later, a wonderful lactation consultant used me as an example of what a good latch looks like!
        We are perfect as we are.

    • Nicole, you’ll be fine! I totally understand the concern when the DD girls say “I did it, so you must be able to.” I was a 34I before I got pregnant and a full J when my milk came in. The biggest issue I had was short nipples (which I hear is common in large breasted women). Within a day of my son being born, we both had the hang of it. He breastfed to 11 months. You can do it!

  14. WHAT?! That’s so outrageous. Women are either too big, too small, too perky, too saggy, too pointy, too flat, too in, too out, too something and we need to be “fixed.” Even other women tell us that. The professionals forget that sometimes a woman just actually needs information and support and can be respected to make personal decisions herself when given the information she needs.


    On my FaceBook page there was a discussion on this subject and there were several women that shared their stories of breastfeeding with large breasts. Breast size has nothing to do with it, she just wanted to make a sale.

  15. Here, let me sell you this four hundred dollar “hospital grade” electric pump. I get a better commission on it than I would get if I just sold you a nursing bra with extra back support, and demonstrated nursing positions that would be easier on both of you.

    And if pumping doesn’t keep up your milk supply, oh, well. There’s always formula. It’s just as good. *perky wink*

  16. Wow, tell that to my 2 breastfed kids. Sure we had some issues in the start but most do. We got past it and they both fed just fine with my 34J breasts.

  17. I had J cups as well and somehow managed to bf a cumulative of 10 years between 4 kids. Don’t worry, it absolutely can be done. You just have to be a little creative.

    The key for me was the FOOTBALL HOLD. It always frustrates me that this is not suggested to well-endowed women. It’s as if the cradle hold is considered the only “legit” hold out there. Yet for many of us, the football hold works best.

    I do know very well-endowed women who have used the cradle hold successfully, but the football hold always worked best for me and was far more comfortable. Any well-endowed mom should be encouraged to try multiple holds and find what works best for her.

    I have a FAQ on Nursing When Well-Endowed on my website. The FAQ is old and some of it’s out of date, but a lot of the information there is still helpful.

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